People who feel good about their finances: What do they have in common?

This guest post is courtesy of CFPB and FDIC’s joint education and awareness campaign.

Parents tell us it’s important for children to be well-prepared to lead good financial lives.

Yes, financial facts and information are important. But the way we behave around money is connected to the way we behave in the rest of our lives. That means it’s important for children to develop attitudes and characteristics as well as knowledge.

So, what kind of person is likely to have financial well-being—that is, to feel confident about their financial situation, today and down the road? It turns out that people who feel financial well-being have a few personality traits in common:

  • Focus on the future. People with this characteristic tend to plan ahead and think about how their actions today will affect them in the future.
  • Diligence. This trait describes people who are driven to finish what they start, work hard, and take care of details.
  • Self-control. People with self-control are generally able to show patience and wait for what they want.
  • Self-confidence. People with this trait tend to measure themselves against an inner yardstick, and believe their actions can make a difference in their own lives.

Parents, if you’re thinking about getting your children on the path to financial well-being, try helping them work on these traits. They can help children get ahead in many areas of life. Young people develop these traits at their own pace, and almost everyone benefits from help and practice. For example, for children younger than age five, activities like martial arts and playing pretend can develop these qualities. You don’t have to be a money expert, and you can help form a good foundation for your child’s future financial life.

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